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Mon, 6 April 2020

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Rishi Sunak heaps praise on Sajid Javid just weeks after replacing him as Chancellor

Rishi Sunak heaps praise on Sajid Javid just weeks after replacing him as Chancellor
2 min read

Rishi Sunak has used the Budget to heap praise on his predecessor as Chancellor - just weeks after Sajid Javid's dramatic Cabinet resignation.

Delivering his first Budget speech, Mr Sunak vowed to "level up" further education in a nod to the "legacy" of the former Cabinet minister.

Mr Javid resigned from the Government last month after a major row with Downing Street over demands to sack his advisers.

Number 10 had wanted to merge his support team with its own, but Mr Javid said the Treasury needed to be able to "speak truth to power".

Delivering the Budget statement that would have been made by Mr Javid, Mr Sunak - Britain's youngest ever chancellor - dedicated a vow to boost education spending to his ex-Treasury colleague.

He said: "I’d like to take the opportunity to pay tribute to my predecessor and friend, the right honourable member for Bromsgrove. 

"One of the issues he is most passionate about is levelling up further education. At the Spending Round, he increased funding for 16-19 [year old] education by £400m.

"Today I can secure his legacy, with £1.5bn of new capital over five years to dramatically improve the condition of the FE college estate."

Pointing to Mr Javid, the new Chancellor said: "My predecessor wanted to level up FE – Saj, we’re getting it done."

Earlier in the statement, Mr Sunak quipped about his own rapid elevation to the Cabinet.

He told MPs: "The story of this government has been the story of a national jobs miracle. 

"And, Madam Deputy Speaker, given the last few weeks I’ve had, I’m all in favour of jobs miracles."

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